Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh challenged Gender Based Violence stakeholders to re-energize campaign to fight against GBV in the Country in order to realize significant progress.

While addressing the National Conference on Gender Based Violence (GBV) held between 16th and 17th October 2019 raised concern over the rising cases of GBV in the Country and urged participants to seek answers on why, despite Kenya having a progressive constitution that clearly spells out issues of human rights coupled with a robust legal and policy framework, GBV continues to be a serious impediment to achievement of gender equality.

“We must ensure that we are coordinated as state and non-state actors on interventions towards prevention and response to GBV,” said Hon. Shebesh.

However, she noted that in line with article 6 (2) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012, the Ministry in collaboration with the County Governments developed the Intergovernmental Framework for Gender that came into force in January 2019.

“The framework is aimed at providing a mechanism for consultation and cooperation between the two levels of Government on issues of gender equality and women empowerment,” she added in her remarks.

The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey indicates that 45 percent of women and 44 percent of men aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence since age 15 with 20 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

A study conducted by National Gender and Equality Commission on economic burden of GBV in Kenya in 2017 provides disturbing statistics on the economic burden of gender-based violence to survivors and to the country.

The average cost of medical-related expenses per survivor and family amounted to KES 16,464; reporting the incident to a chief and community structures cost KES 3,111; reporting to police cost KES 3,756; productivity loss from serious injuries amounted to KES 223,476; productivity loss from minor injuries was KES 18,623; and productivity loss from premature mortality from GBV amounted to a massive KES 5,840,664.

The State Department for Gender through the 1195 help line has received 27, 877 cases of which 14,139 are Women and 8,539 are girls since it was launched in 2007 to date. Most cases recorded from Nairobi County with least cases from Wajir County.

The Nairobi GBV conference marked an important milestone for reflection and stock taking of the progresses so far recorded in efforts to eliminate GBV in Kenya, with the theme: The Missing Agenda: Accountability towards Gender Based Violence.

This conference sought to create enabling spaces for meaningful dialogue between state, non-state actors and survivors of GBV, and by so doing, amplify the voices of survivors as they call for urgent intervention and deliberate collective action towards elimination of GBV in Kenya.

The participants interrogated institutional gaps and challenges that exist in the implementation of the various policies and legislations dedicated to elimination of Gender Based Violence in the Country and the way forward in strengthening accountability mechanisms going forward.

2019 GBV conference was held under the auspices of the GoK-UN Joint Programme on Prevention and Response to GBV and hosted by the State Department for Gender (SDG), Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender, in partnership with the County Governments, the United Nations Agencies, Civil Society and other stakeholders.